Functional Abilities Evaluation Vs Functional Capacities Evaluation

Download the form here on our FAE services page.
Quick Overview:
Functional Abilities Evaluation (FAE) and Functional Capacities Evaluation (FCE) are both assessments used to determine an individual’s physical abilities and limitations. While they serve a similar purpose, there are some key differences between the two.

Answer to the question: What is the difference between Functional Abilities Evaluation (FAE) and Functional Capacities Evaluation (FCE)?

1. Focus:
– FAE focuses on assessing an individual’s ability to perform specific job tasks or activities of daily living.
– FCE evaluates an individual’s overall functional capacity, including their ability to perform a wide range of physical tasks.

2. Duration:
– FAE typically takes a shorter amount of time, ranging from 2-4 hours.
– FCE is more comprehensive and can last anywhere from 4-8 hours or even multiple days depending on the complexity of the assessment.

3. Purpose:
– FAE is often used in return-to-work planning, vocational rehabilitation, or determining suitable job accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
– FCE is commonly utilized in disability insurance claims, legal proceedings, or when determining eligibility for long-term disability benefits.

4. Methodology:
– FAE involves observing and documenting an individual’s performance during specific work-related tasks.
– FCE includes various tests and measurements such as strength testing, endurance evaluations, range of motion assessments, and psychosocial questionnaires.

5. Interpretation:
– The results of an FAE are typically interpreted by professionals who specialize in vocational rehabilitation or occupational therapy.
-The findings from an FCE are usually interpreted by healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists or occupational therapists trained in conducting these assessments.


1. Are there any legal requirements for conducting either evaluation?
In Canada, there are no specific legal requirements governing the use of either evaluation; however, it is essential that assessors adhere to professional standards when performing these assessments.

2. Can employers use FAE or FCE results to terminate an employee?
While the results of these evaluations can provide valuable information, employers should carefully consider their legal obligations and consult with legal counsel before making any employment-related decisions based solely on assessment findings.

3. Can individuals request a specific evaluation type?
Individuals may express a preference for either FAE or FCE; however, the final decision is typically made by the referring party (e.g., employer, insurance company) based on the specific purpose of the assessment.

4. Are there any risks associated with these evaluations?
Both assessments carry minimal risks; however, assessors should follow proper protocols to ensure participant safety during physical testing and address any concerns promptly.

5. How often are these evaluations conducted?
The frequency of conducting FAEs or FCEs varies depending on individual circumstances. In some cases, they may be performed once as part of a comprehensive assessment, while in others, periodic reassessments may be necessary to track progress or changes in functional abilities.

6. Can an individual fail an FAE or FCE?
These evaluations do not have pass/fail criteria since their primary goal is to determine an individual’s functional abilities or capacities accurately.

7. Will my healthcare provider receive copies of the evaluation report?
With proper consent from the evaluated individual, relevant portions of the evaluation report can be shared with healthcare providers involved in their treatment and rehabilitation process.

Functional Abilities Evaluation (FAE) focuses on assessing job-specific tasks and accommodations for return-to-work planning purposes. Functional Capacities Evaluation (FCE), on the other hand, evaluates overall physical capabilities more comprehensively for disability claims and eligibility determinations. While both assessments serve important roles in disability management processes, it is crucial to understand their differences and choose accordingly based on specific needs and objectives.